Slightly less than 10 minutes from Waikiki’s hustle and high rises is one of Honolulu’s funkiest neighborhoods.
Kapahulu is home to everything that makes Hawaii special: Most major cuisine styles are represented here, from the high-end Pacific Rim of Sam Choy’s Diamond Head Restaurant to Ono Hawaiian Foods’ take on Polynesian comfort food a.k.a. the plate lunch, with a heavy emphasis on such Hawaiian staples as poi, laulau (steamed pork and fish wrapped in taro leaves) and lomilomi salmon.
There are Japanese izakaya (low-key bar/restaurants) and Chinese diners; inexpensive Vietnamese joints; and slightly pricier Mexican and Greek restaurants.
Shopping in Kapahulu
You can also browse a range of new and used clothing stores; sports accessory shops (covering everything from running to canoe paddling); at least one tattoo parlor and several antique shops.
Among the latter, one of the best bets for both browsing and shopping are Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts (517 Kapahulu Ave.). Bailey’s, the pricier of the two, specializes in vintage clothing and “Hawaiiana” a catch-all phrase for everything from original Hawaiian sheet music to such contempo kitsch items as hula girl lamps.